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5 National Parks You Can Visit in Our Area

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Public Domain/WikiCommons

By: Mavish Khan


August 25th we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in the United States. This Monday we will be interviewing author- Larry Powalisz. He has written several children’s books about National Parks.

According to the Natural Park Service website, it  was formed after realizing there was no single department dealing with monuments, natural, and historic areas . President Wilson signed an act creating the National Park Service- their job being to protect current and future national parks and monuments.

Today there are National Parks all over our country- some are places you have probably driven past on road trips with your family!

In the meantime- here are some National Parks in our area for you to visit!

1.   Great Egg Harbor River

egg harbor

Photo Credit: National Park Service

The “Great Egg” starts in Berlin, New Jersey, flows through 12 New Jersey municipalities, and all 129 miles are part of the Pinelands National Reserve according to Rivers.gov. The river houses several endangered species such as the bald eagle, peregrine falcon, and the Pine Barrens tree frog. This is a great place to visit if you are into canoeing since it is the largest canoeing river in the Pine Barrens. You can bring your own or rent one!

2.   Ellis Island

ellis island

Photo Credit: National Park Service

Ellis Island is most well known as the first stop so many immigrants made to begin their new life in the United States. But what is not most well-known is that is it also part of the National Park Service. 12 million people passed through Ellis Island, and almost 40 percent of the American population can trace their ancestry there according to nationparks.org. Today that stop is now a museum where the immigrant experience is remembered and honored.

3.   Paterson Great Falls


PatersonGreatFalls -A Visual Reference for Teacher/Flickr

The Paterson Great Falls are located in Paterson, New Jersey in Passaic County. Even though the falls did not join the National Park Service until 2009- it was Alexander Hamilton’s vision of a great industrial city that has given the area such historic importance. According to PatersonGreatFalls.org, the power system created using the falls was on the boldest private enterprises ever done in that time. You can walk up to the falls and even visit an old mil converted into the Paterson Museum.

4.   Thomas Edison National Historic Park

thomas edison

Photo Credit: National Park Service

Thomas Edison’s home and laboratory are a National Park located in West Orange, New Jersey. Edison is the inventor most famously known for the invention of the light bulb- but he also was a trail blazer in the world of the movies. His motion picture camera, and silent and sound movies were created here. You can watch a silent movie in the laboratory. The National Park Service website describes his home to be a mansion with 29 rooms and be in Queen Anne style.

5.   Morristown National Historical Park


Photo Credit: National Park Service

I love learning about places not too far away from home with rich historical stories. It is so interesting to wonder what was happening then- the problems, the people, the overall lifestyle- and then compare to what your life is like. This next park has just that. In the winter of 1779-80, George Washington and his army spent the night- which was also the most severe winter in the country according to njmonthly.com. Come to hike, or tour the museum and library.

Which National Parks are you going to visit? Leave your comment below.





One thought on “5 National Parks You Can Visit in Our Area

  1. This is a very interesting article. I did not know how many historical national parks were within driving distance. I think the Paterson Great Falls would be one on the top of my list to go see.


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